13 January 2006

Molloy allowed to re-join Sinn Féin

Irish Examiner

**If I were Francie, I would tell Sinn Féin to get stuffed.

13/01/2006 - 3:07:39 PM

A senior Sinn Féin member suspended after he spoke out against party policy is to be reinstated later this month, it emerged today.

Francie Molloy was suspended in November after he defied republican strategists and condemned plans to slash the number of councils in Northern Ireland from 26 to seven.

It is understood the Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council appeared before a Sinn Féin disciplinary committee before Christmas.

Mr Molloy has since been told he will be reinstated to the party on January 22.

The Mid Ulster MLA said: “I welcome the opportunity to get re-involved in the political process.

“I have been involved for the last 40 years and it has been a difficult time to be isolated from my fellow republicans.”

The mayor declined to be drawn on whether he still held the views which led to his suspension.

He said: “I think we have to move on.

“We now have a Government announcement and my role now is to try and ensure that we have strong local government delivering services for the the public.”

The veteran was censured after he spoke out against the review of public administration announced by Secretary of State Peter Hain.

Mr Molloy called for the number of councils to be reduced to 15 whereas Sinn Féin had backed plans to cut the number to seven.

The party’s rivals condemned the decision to suspend Mr Molloy and accused Sinn Féin of running a dictatorship.

Sinn Féin today said it would not comment on the case until the disciplinary period was over.

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